Growing Pains

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`Growing pains' is a common phenomenon among children


With the summer vacation on the anvil it is time for the young children to move from `concentration camps' necessitated by the annual examinations to the `summer camps', where it is supposed to be fun and frolic and to learn something different and more. It is a period of unrestrained freedom too as they have the liberty to play for prolonged hours. It is also a time for most of the kids to experience `growing pains'.
Children between 2-12 years and in some cases even adolescents are prone to these growing pains.


If the pain in the muscles of lower limbs occur during late evening or at night disturbing sleep of the kid it is usually termed as growing pains. Though `growth' does not as such hurt but the children in this phase are more prone to pain. The occurrence of pain does not necessarily mean that it would develop into something deleterious or harmful later, it does cause disturbance to the child and concern for the parents, which seeks to be addressed.

There has been no particular cause ascertained to the pain, more often than not children who have been playing, running, climbing and jumping around for most of the day have been observed to develop this pain. Children usually refer the pain to the muscles in front of their thighs, calf muscles or the back of the knee and usually not the joints. More often than not it occurs in both the legs and they do not suffer from any other ailment as such. Parents or siblings of the children would also have suffered from such a pain early in life.

Most of the time the pain is always related to the activity levels. A probable cause for the pain to occur only at night according to some research studies is that the growth spurts in the bones tend to occur during sleep or at night. The intensity of pain differs in children and it need not occur everyday.

Usually a child in pain would not want the area to be touched but a child with growing pain would like the parents to hold, massage and cuddle them. Only if the pain is persistent of continues even during the day, associated with swelling of any joint or fever and rash accompanying the pain a Physician would rule out other conditions. Loss of appetite, weakness and tiredness are usually not seen along with growing pains. Since the child responds to massage, parents can relieve the children by rubbing the area while they are held and cuddled. Stretching the child's legs at bedtime for about 20 to 30 seconds on each limb will be of help. Warm fomentation would soothe the child into sleep. Even better is a warm water bath at bedtime in case of children who complain of such a pain on regular occasions. It is only when such management does not help the child homoeopathic medicine would be of help.

Calcarea phos is the primary remedy indicated in such children who have tendency for rapid growth. Ac. phos is a remedy too in such children but who have had suffered an acute illness and are prone to this condition. Apart from the physical activity if the sun takes its toll, Kali phos has been found to be helpful. Cimcifuga helps children who are uneasy and restless with the pain at night. Rhus tox helps during an acute phase of the pain.

Of course children can always be reassured and reminded that growing pains are normal and that they don't last forever.

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